Banner Health, the parent company of Wyoming Medical Center, announced Tuesday that all employees will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine by a November 1 deadline.

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According to a press release from Banner Health, "To protect patients, team members and the community, today Banner Health notified its employees that being vaccinated for COVID-19 will be a condition of employment."

The release notes that there will be 'limited exceptions,' to this requirement which, according to them, is being implemented for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is the rise of the Delta variant, as well as the pending lift of the Emergency Use Authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, the hospital states its need to protect both patients and its workforce.

According to the release, national data shows that 97 percent of hospitalizations and 99 percent of COVID-19 deaths are among the unvaccinated.

“We care for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and we owe it to them to take every measure possible to ensure the safest care environment,” said Peter Fine, president and CEO for Banner Health, in a company-wide email on July 20. “… we are taking this step to reduce risk for our patients, their families, visitors and each other. Safety is an absolute top priority and the COVID vaccine mandate reflects that commitment. The vaccine data has fully supported the safety and efficacy to prevent disease and reduce its severity. There is overwhelming evidence for us to act on behalf of the communities that rely on us to care for and protect them.”

This is not the first step that Banner has taken to implement the COVID-19 vaccine among its staff. In July of this year, Banner utilized an incentive program for employees that are fully vaccinated.

When reached for comment, Mandy Cepeda, the Director of Marketing & Public Relations for the Wyoming Medical Center, passed along the press release from Banner and stated, "We don't have any further comment at this time."

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